CavitiesCavities are no fun. Okay, let’s face it- they stink, and sometimes they pop up, out of nowhere, after months of brushing and flossing. For some patients, tooth decay is a constant plague and they just can’t seem to make it out of the dentist’s chair. A number of factors such as age, genetics and oral hygiene habits can increase your chances of developing cavities. While circumstances such as your age can make the risk of cavities inevitable, knowing the different types of cavities that exist can make prevention techniques more efficient.

So, if you were unaware that there are different kinds of cavities, this article could be useful for you in terms of fighting against decay. The following are the different types of cavities that can affect you in different ways.

3 Different Types of Cavities:

Root Decay

Root decay is a type of cavity that forms on the roots of your teeth. Usually your gums protect the root of the tooth. However, there are several reasons why the root of your tooth may become exposed. These reasons can include:

  • Gums that have shrunk due to gum disease
  • Brushing too hard
  • Aging

Decay on exposed roots spread much faster than other forms of cavities. Additionally, it is hard to treat this type of decay. Toothache or infection is often a result of root decay because the decay can spread to the inside of the tooth.

Older adults are the most common victims of this type of cavity. This is because as you get older, the chance of gum problems, such as receding gums, increases and in turn, increasing your chance of exposed roots. Additionally, it may be harder to keep up with your oral hygiene when you are older. In order to prevent this type of tooth decay, we suggest brushing with a toothbrush that has soft bristles to protect your gums. Forgetfulness in older adults can lead to cavities also. If you often forget to brush your teeth, leave notes for yourself to brush and floss!

Pit and Fissure Decay

Pit and fissure decay refers to cavities that have formed on the grooves found on back teeth. The molars are often the teeth that get this type of decay. Usually, children and teenagers are susceptible to pit and fissure decay because they form in hard-to-reach areas. Inexperienced brushers may not be able to remove bacteria and plaque from these places.

In order to prevent pit and fissure decay, we always suggest placing sealants on the back molars to protect against future decay. Sealants are simply clear plastic coatings that form a barrier on the enamel to “seal out” bacteria plaque. At Moore Dentistry, we offer sealants to children and adults alike to prevent decay.

Smooth-Surface Decay

This type of decay forms on the flat surface of the tooth. These cavities can only form when bacteria is not removed and produces plaque build-up. Fortunately, this type of tooth decay is easily treated and prevented. Dentists can easily treat the cavity and with proper brushing and flossing, future smooth-surface decay can be prevented. Fluoride treatments can also help to prevent this type of decay.

All types of cavities can be prevented with regular dental checkups. At Moore Dentistry, we also offer Fluoride Treatments. Fluoride is an important, naturally occurring element that has been proven to decrease tooth decay. For more information on preventing decay, visit us at Moore Dentistry or call us at (317) 348-1354.

Photo Credit: Identity Station

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